By Ken Tucker
September 10, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
DOg the Bounty Hunter: Ronen Zilberman

A&E’s Dog the Bounty Hunter follows the adventures of long-haired, leathered Duane ”Dog” Chapman. ”Dog,” set in Hawaii, shows you how a sly hunter captures his prey. A former criminal, Chapman is now downright evangelical about tracking down murderers and drug dealers and converting them to lawfulness. He growls pep talks to the perps, calls everyone his ”brah,” and declares his mission: ”We gotta arrest ’em and fix ’em.” It’s fascinating to watch a guy who looks like a middle-aged Hell’s Angel trap evildoers by sweet-talking the suspects’ relatives on the phone (Chapman’s a natural actor with an array of voices) and then racing to ambush the thugs.

It’s implied — from the way Dog brandishes his Mace can like a gun, and leads his men through a workout to get them pumped before a takedown — that he probably uses considerably more force than the cameras catch. He takes unintentionally funny offense upon discovering that one of his targets is a fugitive who shares his last name. Dog seems to think this ne’er-do-well Chapman, though no relation, will bring disgrace upon his clan. When he wraps up a case early, Dog and his wife, Beth, pack up their kiddies and head to the beach for a quiet afternoon. The pleasure Dog takes in helping his small daughter catch and release a beautiful fish enhances this portrait of a man who loves his life.

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